By her, I departed to her (from The Poem of the Sufi Way)

by Umar Ibn al-Farid

English version by Th. Emil Homerin
Original Language Arabic

By her, I departed to her
     from me, never to return;
          one like me never speaks
               of coming back.

Kindly I secluded my soul
     away from my departure;
          never again did I allow it
               to be my companion.

Then I was made to disappear
     from where my soul stood apart,
          that no attribute could appear
               to crowd me in my presence,

And I was made to witness
     my absence when she appeared,
          so I found me, her there,
               in the bridal chamber of my seclusion.

In my witnessing, my existence
     was cast off, and I was far
          from the existence of my witnessing,
               effacing, not transfixing.

I embraced what I witnessed
     by bearing witness to it
          in the effacement of my witness,
               now sober after my drunkenness.

In the sobriety after effacement,
     I was none other than her,
          my essence adorned my essence
               when she removed her veil.

-- from Umar Ibn al-Farid: Sufi Verses, Saintly Life, Translated by Th. Emil Homerin

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Umar Ibn al-Farid: Sufi Verses, Saintly Life Sufi Poems: A Mediaeval Anthology From Arab Poet to Muslim Saint: Ibn Al-Farid, His Verse, and His Shrine The Wine of Love and Life: Ibn Al-Farid's Al-Khamriyah and Al-Qaysari's Quest for Meaning





By her, I departed